When our 17-year old daughter decided she wanted to learn to drive, my partner and I had a decision to make. Although she would take lessons with a professional instructor in a dual control car, she was keen to practise at home. At the time, we had two cars: a BMW X5 and a VW Polo. Even if we had wanted to, it seemed unlikely that we would be able to insure her on the BMW. The Polo seemed a plausible choice but, like the BMW, it is an automatic and she was planning to learn to drive a manual car. We decided to take the leap and buy her a small car of her own.
After some searching, we found a 2013 VW Up with low mileage and only one previous owner. The VW Up falls into the cheapest insurance category so we were hopeful of getting a good deal.
Both of our other cars are insured with Churchill. We pay the BMW's insurance annually, in a lump sum. For various reasons, the Polo's insurance is paid monthly. At first we were undecided about whether we would pay for the Up's insurance upfront or monthly. Given the age and good condition of the car, we were looking for fully comprehensive insurance, not third party. My first port of call was Churchill to see if they would offer us a reasonable deal in light of our existing relationship. They were willing to insure the car but the cost was more than we were prepared to consider, even if we had a black box fitted to the vehicle.
We compared various quotes on Compare The Market and MoneySupermarket. Quotes were consistently a little lower if I included myself on the policy as a named driver. Some of them were lower still if we opted for a telematics policy and agreed to have a black box fitted. It seemed clear that this was the way to go. Although there were a couple of quotes we were particularly interested in, I was aware that there are several major insurance companies that do not feature on the price comparison sites. I called one of them, Direct Line, on the basis that I have other types of insurance with them. They were courteous but could not offer me a policy that was low enough to tempt me away from my existing online quotes.
We eventually chose a policy from the Co-op. The cost was substantial enough for me to decide to pay monthly, albeit after paying around £300 upfront. Although we can afford the monthly premiums without too much difficulty, they do represent a significant additional expense. Overall, I found choosing a buying an insurance policy suitable for a 17-year old new driver significantly more difficult than any of my previous experiences. There appear to be a greater number of permutations that can affect the overall cost and it is difficult and time-consuming to navigate through these.